Syniverse 2018 Analysis:
LTE Roaming ‘Trade Winds’

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LTE Now Represents Majority of Global Roaming Traffic

LTE is growing globally, and growing markedly in roaming. To better understand this transformation, Syniverse has analyzed the regular course, or “trade winds,” of global roaming using the traffic records of its global IPX network, which connects nearly 1,000 mobile operators and most of the world’s LTE providers.

The study focuses on traffic between six regions – North America (U.S. and Canada); Latin America; Europe; Asia Pacific (including Australia); the Middle East and Africa; and India – and the findings reveal that in the last year LTE traffic has surpassed non-LTE traffic and now represents the majority of global roaming traffic, rising to 54% in 2017 from 42% in 2016.

Additionally, the findings highlight the need for the mobile industry to more urgently prepare for technologies like 5G and the internet of things, based on the eight years that it took from the time that LTE was commercially launched for it to surpass the previous generation of technology. Critically, a major barrier in providing a consistent LTE service footprint – and in paving the way for rapid 5G adoption – lies in the inter-regional connectivity that an IPX network can enable.

“LTE Reaches Milestone to Comprise Majority of Global Roaming Traffic”

LTE Becomes New Standard for Global Roaming

  • LTE roaming traffic rose to 54 percent of traffic in 2017, up from 42 percent in 2016.
  • LTE roaming volume grew 121% overall in 2017.
  • The majority of LTE roaming remains concentrated in the Americas, which represent 79% of total volume.
  • LTE roaming volumes for other regions include Europe at 11%, Asia Pacific at 7%, the Middle East and Africa at 3%, and India at 1%.

“Our data points to the fact that while the rollout of LTE networks is advancing at a healthy rate, the mobile industry must accelerate its efforts to fully capture the 5G opportunity. Industry attention has been focused on the most innovative technologies of 5G. However, just as crucial for 5G adoption is integrating technologies like IPX to ensure global connectivity and security, which have been important pillars in the success of the mobile industry.”

John Wick

Senior Vice President and General Manager, Service Provider Group, Syniverse

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